It's time to get back at this blogging thing.
Here in the US, the national consciousness is only beginning to fade from the Newtown school shootings that occurred back in mid-December - all of which makes this next story that more poignant. I had written back in October of the efforts of a group, Defense Distributed, to print a 3-D gun from plastic. Or at least, partially from plastic. Their initial efforts were unsuccessful as the leaser of the printer found out about what was intended and promptly cancelled the lease. Somehow Defense Distributed has found another option for printing their equipment and managed to make a rifle lower and managed to get off 6 rounds before it failed.
This is still a long ways from an all plastic gun, if such a beast could indeed be made. Not only would discharging the bullet be difficult using just plastic, but the bullet itself would still most likely be metal.  However, I've learned to never bet against progress, ingenuity and creativity when people are motivated. And gun owners are certainly motivated these days.
I am going to go off-topic here and put in my personal plea - forget changing gun control laws as a way to prevent mass-killing sprees. There are too many guns out there to ever prevent someone from getting one, and as the innovations in 3-D printing improve, access will be that much easier. In my mind, the emphasis needs to be placed on mental health, and I am really appalled by the lack of political leadership on the issue from EVERYONE in Washington D.C. Mental health issues are one of the few remaining stigmas out there, being mostly viewed as a source of shame rather than of need. Until this changes, there will always be individuals that need help but will not seek if for fear of the humiliation that will receive in public. We have moved away from Bedlam, but not anywhere near enough. This most recent shooting was a perfect opportunity for the President or a Congressional leader to speak out and propose serious change both socially and in the health care system. And yet no one took advantage of the situation. Or more correctly, they did speak out and took advantage of the situation - to talk about gun control. There was endless discussion on gun control laws and arming teachers and...and nothing, NOTHING about mental health. Truly a shame.
 The irony is that licensed gun manufacturers can lease the same 3-D printer from the same supplier without any issues.
 While rubber bullets can be lethal in unusual circumstances, the are generally not considered as such.